Friday, November 9, 2012

A season of giving-- a food donation notation

It is no secret. I dislike the Christmas season. The commercialism, the non-stop bad music that takes over Muzak everywhere. The crowds, the gimmes, the fights over discounted televisions.

Bah. Bah. Bah.

That said, there are a lot of very charitably minded people and alot of good is done during this season. So I will try to remain positive. I will not shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I will aim to shop local or artisan made, when I can.

I am also going to try and highlight some nice holiday options, on Fridays. These are businesses or organizations that I like. No one is giving me anything to do this (I mean they could and I would totally toot my own horn if they did but I am not being compensated as I type this post. I am however sitting in the dark, wondering why I choose not to put on socks. A different matter entirely.)

This week I will also refer to my entry a few years ago. As we enter the season of food drives, please, please think about people in need who have issues like I do. Gluten Intolerance and food allergies, are not just issues of wealthy and middle class families. While the Kroger brand of mac and cheese is great and on sale this week, many families cannot eat it for a variety of reasons. So think about more whole food choices, with no processed sauces or additives. I say look for 5 ingredient or less foods.

This could include:

shelf stable soy milk or nut milks
apple sauce -- with no added sugar
peanut butter or soy butter or sun butter
plain instant oatmeal (not gluten free, but great for people with other allergies)
plain instant rice ceral
gluten free flour blend
trail mix
dried fruit such as raisins and cranberries
banana chips
plain rice -- instant or slow cook
cooking oil
dried beans, lentils, peas
canned fruit, with no added sugar
powdered milk
instant coffee
canned milk
canned beans -- but read the labels, just beans, no funny stuff
gluten free crackers/rice crackers
all fruit jams/preserves
gluten free cereals/granola
gluten free breakfast bars/granola type bars

Call ahead, will the pantry take winter squash, potatoes, apples? Gift cards? Many pantries meet their clients needs this way.

I cannot imagine trying to meet my dietary needs, with a very limited income. Can you imagine if you were a family on the edge and a child or adult in the family was struggling with uncontrolled IBS/Celiacs or other issues due to an inability to find wholesome, whole food choices.

The reality is all the items on my list are generally healthier options for everyone. We all benefit from less processing and less sugar and less junk in our food. So while you are giving someone with allergies or intolerance some options, you are also giving everyone something very healthy.

It is a win-win.

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